Money & Business

What Some Associations Think of Obama's Inaugural Policy Pitches

By Anita Ferrer / Jan 22, 2013 (Glyn Lowe Photoworks/Flickr)

President Obama lists immigration, technology, and climate change as high priorities for his second term. Some associations were quick to support the stances he took Monday.

When President Obama took the stage during his inauguration ceremony on Monday, associations far and wide were listening to hear if their interests were on the White House agenda for his second term.

The path toward sustainable energy sources will be long and sometimes difficult. But America cannot resist this transition; we must lead it.

Obama has faced many political challenges over the past four years, and as the Washington Post recently pointed out, it appears to have transformed him physically. But his speech on Monday suggested a transformation that goes far beyond his face. As New York Times writer Richard Stevenson points out, his delivery revealed a president ready to push more progressive approaches in his second term.

What does this “new” Obama have in his to-do list for 2013? As he marches onward, the President voiced his policy agenda, focusing on equal rights, climate change, and immigration reform. Among the inaugural policy pitches which drew association interest:

Big news for climate change

“The path toward sustainable energy sources will be long and sometimes difficult. But America cannot resist this transition; we must lead it,” Obama said. As The New York Times explains, the president will rely on the Environmental Protection Agency to buckle down on coal emission regulations and energy efficiency standards for home appliances and buildings.

The International District Energy Association issued a press release lauding the president’s commitment to energy and climate change. “IDEA members are eager to support the president and Congress in moving forward to address climate change by increasing the efficiency and resiliency of the energy infrastructure serving our cities, communities, and campuses through greater adoption of district energy and combined heat and power systems,” said IDEA President and CEO Robert Thornton.

Tech Groups Applaud Immigration Push

At one point during the speech, Obama reminded listeners of the value of high-skilled immigrants.

“Our journey is not complete until we find a better way to welcome the striving, hopeful immigrants who still see America as a land of opportunity,” he explained, “until bright young students and engineers are enlisted in our workforce rather than expelled from our country.”

The mention was brief but significant for companies focused on broadening the pool of high-skilled immigrants, especially tech giants like Intel and Google, which have encouraged boosting the number of visas available to foreign-born graduates of U.S. universities in fields like engineering, math, and science.

Tech-focused associations responded accordingly.

“From innovation to immigration, from the power of technology to transform our society to the power of our imagination to find solutions to long-standing challenges, the president’s inaugural address spoke to the heart of our sector’s shared priorities,” Tom Gavin, vice president of external affairs for the Information Technology Industry Council,  wrote on the ITIC blog.

The Telecommunications Industry Association also issued a statement, noting that Obama’s speech followed the association’s policy agenda.

“He deserves praise for advancing this commitment and recognizing the incredible economic and societal value of technology,” said TIA President Grant Seiffert. “Many of the goals he expressed today are shared in our own innovation agenda, and we look forward to working closely with the Obama administration over the next four years.”

Did your profession or industry get a nod from the president on inauguration day? Tell us about it in the comments.

Anita Ferrer

Anita Ferrer is a contributor to Associations Now. More »

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